It was a childhood dream to publish my own book.
Writing was always a form of therapy for me, but it’s been two years since I started sharing my words with the world.
One night, I was having a random chat with a friend when she asked me – why not publish your own book? Inspired by the chat, I shortlisted three of my best stories and decided to publish them as a book.
I had zero knowledge about the publishing industry and literally knew no one who had published a book. I tried a lot of references via friends of friends, but nothing really worked out. I got to know a bit about the traditional publishing industry, but I was not ready to go through the long wait and innumerable rejections. Then, Google brought forward the option of self-publishing. After calling up every publishing house that offered the self-publishing service, I finally published my first book “I Wish I Had Spoken” in May last year.
This was my dream project, but I was equally stingy because it was the biggest risk I was taking in my life. I did not want to borrow money from anyone for this venture, because I was unsure if this publication would work. Therefore, I went for the option that suited my pocket and my basic requirements. But what I ignored was that along with good content, good marketing is what’s extremely important. I did not concentrate much on the marketing.
I had read in a WhatsApp forward that when a celebrity sells a product, everyone buys it, but when a near and dear one sells it, everyone wants to test its quality. This is something I experienced first-hand while trying to sell my books.
I did not have the right marketing strategy, but self-publication gave me oodles of confidence, which was more important. I realise now that even if I did not spend much on a marketing campaign for the book or on hosting a fancy book launch, I should have put more time and energy in marketing myself as a brand, which was possible.
Self-publishing is a new concept in India, but it is picking up well. Here’s the thing though: sometimes, it is not enough to be a good writer, you have to be a good brand to be able to convince people to buy your book. And that is where I failed miserably.
The manuscript of my next book is ready. Hopefully, I won’t face the same fate again.